Week 8 football previews


By Alex Hawley - ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com



Gallia Academy senior Ben Cox (2) tosses the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown in a Week 2 football contest against River Valley in Bidwell, Ohio.

Gallia Academy senior Ben Cox (2) tosses the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown in a Week 2 football contest against River Valley in Bidwell, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Eastern junior Steven Fitzgerald (14) drags a pair of Wahama defenders while picking up extra yardage during a Week 7 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Week 8 of the 2019 football season kicks off in both Ohio and West Virginia this weekend as there are eight contests going on within the Ohio Valley Publishing area.

Three of the eight local contests are at home venues, which also includes a single head-to-head matchup with Wahama traveling to South Gallia.

Point Pleasant will try to snap a 2-game losing streak at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field as it hosts the Louisville Leopards out of Ohio. Southern also welcomes Waterford to Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field for a TVC Hocking matchup.

There are a trio of road contests with league ramifications as unbeaten Gallia Academy is at Rock Hill in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup. Eastern travels to Miller for a TVC Hocking bout, while River Valley travels to Vinton County for a TVC Ohio contest.

Meigs is at Logan (OH) and Hannan heads to Wirt County for a pair of non-conference tilts as well.

Here’s a brief look at all of the Week 8 football games from the OVP area. All of the contests are slated for Friday night.

Wahama White Falcons (2-5, 2-4 TVC Hocking) at South Gallia Rebels (1-6, 1-5)

One team ends a losing skid this weekend as Wahama and South Gallia face off for the 19th time overall, as well as the final time as TVC Hocking couterparts. The White Falcons own a 15-3 lead in the all-time series, but the Rebels claimed a 42-20 decision last year at Bachtel Stadium. WHS has been outscored by a 275-183 margin and has dropped its last two outings, while SGHS has dropped four in-a-row and has been outscored 212-88 overall. The road team has won the last three outings in this matchup. The White Falcons currently sit 32nd out of 41 teams in the Class A playoff ratings, while the Rebels are 21st in the Division VII, Region 27 bracket.

Louisville Leopards (4-3) at Point Pleasant Big Blacks (1-3)

Another first-time opponent makes it way to OVB Field. Louisville — based in Stark County— has a storied Ohio gridiron program with 16 playoff appearances, a pair of state semifinal appearance and a single runner-up finish back in 2007. The Leopards last appeared in the Ohio postseason in 2015 and currently sit 11th in the Division III, Region 9 bracket. LHS has outscored opponents by a 222-182 margin this fall and enters Friday with a 2-game winning streak following a 20-14 double overtime win over Cardinal Mooney last week. The Big Blacks have allowed 49 points in each of their last two outings and have been outscored 112-84 this fall. PPHS currently sits 34th out of 44 Class AA programs. Point Pleasant has never lost more than two games at home in any one season — including playoffs — since opening OVB Field back in 2009.

Waterford Wildcats (5-2, 4-1 TVC Hocking) at Southern Tornadoes (5-2, 4-1)

The Wildcats are looking for their sixth straight win over the Purple and Gold, with Waterford winning 18 of the last 23 head-to-head meetings. The Tornadoes last win over Waterford came Oct. 18, 2013 by a 33-0 count in Racine, since then the Wildcats have outscored SHS by a total of 141-to-47. A year ago, Waterford won 42-7 in Washington County, with the Wildcats winning 14-6 the last time they were in Racine. Southern lost to Ravenswood by a 42-35 clip last Friday, the Tornadoes’ first non-league setback since 2015. Waterford claimed a 28-22 win last week at Wahama, a team SHS beat 58-22 in Week 3. Waterford’s only two losses this season — 49-0 to Fort Frye and 37-0 to Trimble — have come to teams that are still unbeaten seven weeks into the season. In addition to wins over Wahama, both teams have also topped South Gallia and Miller this fall.

Gallia Academy Blue Devils (7-0, 4-0 OVC) at Rock Hill Redmen (1-6, 1-3)

The Blue Devils are off to their first 7-0 start since their unbeaten season of 1986. Gallia Academy has won 14 straight regular season games and 13 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference games. The Blue and White topped RHHS 43-20 in Gallipolis last season, their first win over the Redmen in OVC play. The last time these teams met in Pedro was Oct. 13, 2017, with the hosts taking a 56-54 triumph. That two-point loss is the last time the Blue Devils fell in league play. Gallia Academy’s 44-20 win over Coal Grove last Friday came after trailing 14-7 in the second quarter. The Redmen fell at Ironton by a 46-0 tally last week, one week after claiming their first win of the year, 26-21 over South Point. Both teams have faced Meigs, Fairland and Portsmouth this year, with GAHS topping all-3 by a combined 97-to-28, while RHHS fell to all-3 by a total of 120-to-68.

Eastern Eagles (5-2, 4-1 TVC Hocking) at Miller Falcons (2-5, 0-5)

The Eagles ended a three-year skid against the Falcons last season, winning 25-8 at home. Eastern hasn’t won at Miller since Week 2 of the 2013 season, by a 28-12 count. EHS has won 13 of the last 23 meetings between the teams, including a 25-8 triumph at last fall. Eastern is well-rested headed into play, as they benefited from a forfeit win over Federal Hocking last week. The Eagles have won three games in a row, matching the streak they completed by winning the first two games of this season, after ending 2018 with a win. The last time EHS won four straight from Week 4 to Week 8 last season, and is looking to repeat that feat. Last week, the Falcons lost by a 48-0 count at Trimble, which beat EHS by the exact same score in Week 2. Both teams have also lost to Waterford, with Wahama as the only other common opponent. The Eagles topped WHS 54-18 in Week 6, while Miller fell to the White Falcons by a 24-20 clip in Week 2.

River Valley Raiders (1-6, 1-3 TVC Ohio) at Vinton County Vikings (3-4, 2-1)

The Vikings won back-to-back meetings with Raiders, but still trail RVHS 3-2 in the series since the Silver and Black joined the TVC Ohio. River Valley’s last win in the series came on Oct. 14, 2016, by a 41-6 count in Bidwell. The Raiders last claimed victory in McArthur in 2015, winning 30-12 in Week 8. Both teams have face Alexander and Meigs so far this season, with the Vikings winning 20-0 at MHS and 28-7 at AHS, and the Raiders falling at home to the Spartans by a 35-0 count a week ago, but taking a 41-25 win over the Marauders in Week 5. RVHS has been shut out in back-to-back weeks, and has also been held scoreless one other time this fall. RVHS was on the wrong end of four shut outs a year ago. The Vikings were shut out for the second time this fall last week, losing in non-conference action at home to Shadyside by a 21-0 count.

Meigs Marauders (1-6) at Logan Chieftains (2-5)

The Marauders have dropped back-to-back matchups with the Chieftains, marking Logan’s record 11-7-1 in the all-time series. The Maroon and Gold lost by a 26-22 count the last time they visited Logan, and then fell by a 45-35 clip last year in Rocksprings. These teams had met in Week 3 for five consecutive years before moving back to Week 8 this season. Meigs last win over the Purple and White was on Sept. 9, 2016 by a 25-19 count in Rocksprings. The Marauders have lost five bouts in a row for the first time since falling in the final five games of 2010, and then losing the first game of 2011. Last Friday, Meigs lost to TVC Ohio host Athens by a 60-24 count, one week after the Bulldogs fell to Logan by a 46-20 tally. The Chiefs fell at home to Zanesville by a 44-14 count last Friday. Of the five teams to better LHS this season, three enter Week 8 at 5-2, while one is 6-1 and the other is unbeaten.

Hannan Wildcats (1-5) at Wirt County Tigers (2-5)

An old acquaitance. Wirt County has won the previous six meeting in this all-time series, but the Tigers and the Wildcats haven’t faced off on the gridiron since a 62-0 decision in Week 5 of 2007. Both teams started the year with identical 0-4 records, but fortunes have changed for both programs over the last fee weeks. WCHS had a 2-game winning streak snapped last week after a heartbreaking 8-6 setback to Calhoun County. Hannan followed a win and a bye week with a 22-12 loss to Montcalm a week ago. Wirt County has been outscored by a 135-101 margin this fall and currently sits 31st out of 41 teams in the Class A playoff ratings. The Wildcats have been outscored 237-52 this fall and are tied with Hundred for 37th place in the Class A ratings.

Gallia Academy senior Ben Cox (2) tosses the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown in a Week 2 football contest against River Valley in Bidwell, Ohio.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/10/web1_GA-Cox.jpgGallia Academy senior Ben Cox (2) tosses the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown in a Week 2 football contest against River Valley in Bidwell, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Eastern junior Steven Fitzgerald (14) drags a pair of Wahama defenders while picking up extra yardage during a Week 7 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/10/web1_EHS-Fitzgerald-1.jpgEastern junior Steven Fitzgerald (14) drags a pair of Wahama defenders while picking up extra yardage during a Week 7 football contest in Tuppers Plains, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.